Make a Budget & Find Funding Opportunities

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Make a budget

Determine the costs of the program. It is important to understand and identify your start-up costs as well as ongoing expenses and asset replacement costs. Estimate how much funding is required based on your delivery model and how many students you plan to serve.

District administrators, trustees, or parents may be more supportive if you can demonstrate how your food program will benefit families and reduce the financial burden of managing impacts of student hunger (e.g., behavior management, educational support, etc.).

Please note: Provincial Food Program funding was announced April 4thDistrict allocations are available here

Consider funding options 

District Funding: Many school districts in B.C. use their CommunityLINK funding to support school food programs.

Grants: Apply for government or community grants. Consider researching other funding or partnership opportunities in your area. Here is a list of grants and other funding opportunities to get you started. Look for funding opportunities that support children, food security, and/or education.

Low Cost and Recovery Ideas: 

  • Parent Advisory Committee funding 
  • A pay-what-you-can model with parents (e.g., Fuel Up! Subsidy)
  • Grow fruits or vegetables in a school garden
  • Include traditional and place-based foods in the menu

Partnerships and Community Connections: Community inclusion is essential to successful programs - leverage existing partnerships and opportunities to enhance your program

  • Partner with the community to support school food programs and offer fun and unique fundraising events 
  • See if there is a non-profit organization in your area that you can work with to streamline processes or support efficiencies in areas such as food aggregation and assist with growing your or building a program

Submit a strong application

Most funding opportunities have an application process with different requirements. The description and eligibility requirements will explain what (or whom) the funding is for. Note the application deadline and create a list of submission documents. Have your monthly or quarterly financial statements ready if applicable.

Tailor your application. Get an idea of the spirit or principle behind the funding by reviewing a list of previous grant recipients. See how you can align your application with a similar organization or cause. You might consider hiring a grant writer to help with this.

Keep applying. Sometimes the funding is not reoccurring, which may mean that you will need to reapply periodically. If you're not successful the first time, take note of how you can improve and try again during the next application intake.

Keep track of your finances 

Monthly or quarterly financial reports are essential for fundraising and grant applications. Recording your finances properly and making sure they are up to date will help you to plan and run the program efficiently. Inquire if there are accounting services available through the school district or reach out to the volunteer community in your area.

Grants & funding opportunities

This is not a full list of all funding sources. Check the funding website or contact an organization directly for detailed information.


Backpacks of food to send home with students for the weekend. No application process.

Funding for schools to provide breakfast at least three times a week to all students. Generally, the average cost of breakfast ($1 per breakfast) is used to calculate funding.

Ask for help: Ryan Baker is the Programs Lead for Breakfast Club of Canada. Contact him to get help with your application or to get advice on how to build partnerships with other organizations that can help.

Grants for charitable organizations that offer a wide range of support.

Funding for registered charities and non-profit organizations in western Canada for recreation, environmental conservation or urban agriculture projects that can be publicly accessed.

Grants for food or nutrition programs that connect schools with local producers.

Funding for Canadian charities that help improve the quality of life for children and youth.

Funding for schools and charitable organizations focused on family, environment, engineering and education.

Funding and support for Canadian charities that would like to make social or environmental change.

Funding and support from a national network of meal programs for kids who live in poverty or other difficult situations.

Grants for schools, communities and charitable organizations that want to start a project to help the environment. For example, school and community gardens or environmental education programs.

Training, educational resources and increased visibility for anyone creating educational opportunities and increasing access to food for students.




BC Dairy Association Mini Food Grant

Educators can apply for a mini food grant of $150 by showing how they would use the money to complement the BC Dairy Association program they're teaching.

Schools can also access tools and information to help set-up a school milk program.

Grants for schools with a CRA charitable number and a project or program that:

  • Provides education to students in trades, science, technology, engineering or math
  • Promotes energy efficiency, reduces carbon emissions and minimizes environmental impacts

Funding from the provincial government designed to support not-for-profit organizations with the delivery of accessible and inclusive programs and services. There is also funding for Parent Advisory Councils (PAC) and capital projects.

Grants for schools to promote food literacy and deliver healthy local food in classrooms. The goal is to increase access to healthy local foods in schools and to help students connect with their local food environment and producers.

List of funding opportunities for educational organizations.

A program for elementary schools fundraise by selling affordable, locally-sourced hot school lunches that meet the nutrition guidelines for food and beverage sales.

List of grants and other funding opportunities for schools that want to grow a garden.



Support for non-profit organizations offering programs, events or projects that promote healthy, active living with a focus on encouraging physical activity and outdoor living. For sponsorship, present an outline of your project or event to a manager at a local Canadian Tire, SportChek or Mark’s store.

A free breakfast program and food backpacks for students in the Central Okanagan region. The Boys and Girls Club of Kelowna also provides backpacks for students with food for the weekend. There is no application process.

Grants for community non-profit organizations and Indigenous Nations to develop or establish a new program related to health and wellness or population health, including healthy eating, social/family connectedness, and healthy early childhood development.

A fundraising program for schools in the Vancouver area that shares profits from every meal purchased with the school. Parents pay for meals.

A charitable organization that provides meals for students at school in the Cowichan Valley area.

The Nourish Cowichan Society was started to help feed children locally. Read their story.

Provides food for schools that offer a meal program banks. Contact the food bank for more details.

A program for schools in the Vancouver area to provide healthy snacks for students who would otherwise go hungry.

Financial support through the Adopt-a-School program to help schools provide food and other essentials for students.

Funding for Vancouver Island charities that are focused on supporting the needs of their community.


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